(WASHINGTON, D.C.)- Famed rock and roll singer/guitarist Johnny Rivers and his former drummer, the actor Mickey Jones, will receive the President's Award for Excellence in the Arts at Vietnam Veterans of America's 15th biennial National Convention on Saturday Night, August 20, in Reno, Nevada.
"All of us in the Vietnam War generation remember Johnny Rivers and his big hits—'Memphis,' 'Maybelline,' 'Mountain of Love,' and 'Secret Agent Man,' " said VVA National President John Rowan. "We're honoring him for that work and for the trip he took to Vietnam in 1966 to entertain the troops. Mickey Jones was Johnny's drummer on that trip, and we're recognizing him for that selfless act, as well as his musical and acting career, including his eight-year role on 'Home Improvement.' "
The Convention runs from August 17-20 at the Silver Legacy Hotel in Reno. Some eight hundred delegates from VVA chapters across the country are expected to join hundreds of other Vietnam veterans and guests at the event. The delegates will set the organization's course for the next two years, hear from an array of speakers, attend information sessions, and take part in special events. That includes the Saturday night Awards Banquet, which honors Vietnam veterans and others in the arts.
Richard Pimentel, the disabled Vietnam veteran who is one of the nation's foremost disability rights advocates, will give the Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday morning, August 17. Other special guests scheduled to take part in the Convention include Vietnam veteran Homer Hickam, the author of the acclaimed memoir Rocket Boys and many other books, and the actress, comedienne, and singer Vicki Lawrence, who entertained the troops in Vietnam. Hickam, Lawrence, the entertainer Gloria Loring, the writer Diana Dell, and Mickey Jones will receive VVA Excellence in the Arts Awards at the Awards Banquet. Johnny Rivers will accept via video.